80 years and 28 iterations of the Popular Science cover logo

Google scanned all previous issues of Popular Science from 1929 to 2009. Irresistible if you’re a tech geek, yes, and maybe just as interesting if you’re into typography.

Apart from carrying the best illustrations of their times, the magazine’s logo development is a showcase of the shifting trends in typography and graphic design.

And, as we’ll see here, even typography history repeats itself. It’s worth noting how the magazine is striving to preserve hints and styles over the years.

1929

The indented “Science” version would in a later iteration become the most non-perishable form. It returns in 1963 and survives – in various versions – on the cover until 1995.

1925.png

1929

1929.png

1931

The first real high-tech looking logo. And the first iteration of the style of today. 1931.png

1931

1931-1.png

1939

1939.png

1939

1939-1.png

1941

1941.png

1943

1943.png

1946

1946.png

1952

1952.png

1955

1955-1.png

1957

1957.png

1960

1960.png

1963

1963.png

1965

There’s something playful about this style. I guess that’s what the sixties was about. Enough with the rules, in comes the innocent quirkiness.

1965.png

1965

1965-1.png

1971

First occurrence of the “What’s new magazine” subtitle. The handwritten style challenges the years and years of stringent typography. The style itself hasn’t changed that much – and the price? Almost doubled in just six years.1971.png

1974

Note how the press quality improves. The colours are far more vivid. And the playful W’s just couldn’t be more 70ies.1974.png

1980

1980.png

1983

Nothing says hi-fi more than this look. And what’s that in the headline? The announcement of the flat-screen TV. Took a while to get here. Also, this particular version, without alterations, is the version that stayed on the cover for the longest period: 13 years.1983.png

1995

1995.png

1996

1996.png

1997

1997.png

2001

2001.png

2002

2002.png

2006

2006.png

A GPS bagpack that steers its human

An airport that loads passengers like human cargo

A self-driving office chair

A VR game that navigates you to a real place

A projector drone that follows its user